Date of Award

May 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Robert J. Jeske

Committee Members

Brian D. Nicholls, Richard W. Edwards IV


Effigy Mounds, GIS, Lake Koshkonong, Landscape, Oneota, Viewshed Analysis


This research was conducted to analyze the visual relationship between Oneota village sites, Late Woodland habitations, and mound sites during a period of time that saw all of these groups living contemporaneously on Lake Koshkonong. My research seeks to not only understand what and who Oneota sites could see on the landscape, but also who might have been able to see them. This research adds to the discussion of Lake Koshkonong Oneota relationships with contemporaneous groups during the 11th-15th centuries.This study focuses on four sites within the Lake Koshkonong Locality that date to the Oneota period: Crescent Bay Hunt Club (47JE904), Schmeling (47JE833), Carcajou Point (47JE002), and Koshkonong Creek Village (47JE379). A viewshed analysis was conducted on these Oneota village sites, as well as all recorded Late Woodland habitations, and Late Woodland mound sites within the locality. The data derived from these analyses were used to answer three research questions 1) What is encompassed and excluded from Oneota site viewsheds?; 2) What is the visual relationship between mounds and Oneota sites?; and, 3) What is the visual relationship between Late Woodland habitations and Oneota sites? High degrees of visibility indicate a close, or at least peaceful, relationship between these sites, while a lack of visibility, or invisibility from one site to another might indicate that one of the groups could have been attempting to conceal themselves. It is possible that relations with outside groups may have been violent. The results of this research indicate that 1) Archaeological sites in the study area were placed in environmentally logical places, indicating efficient use of resources;. 2) Oneota sites were placed defensively on the landscape, suggesting some level of intergroup conflict; and, 3) Oneota sites were placed to maintain a viewshed of Late Woodland effigy mound sites, suggesting the persistence of sacred places on the landscape. Further excavation and GIS analysis will need to be done to understand more clearly the relationships among these groups and their relationships with other groups located outside of the Lake Koshkonong locality.